Into the Fire
The Shaman's Touch Part II
This article is Part 2 in a series of articles entitled, The Shaman's Touch. The series concerns the path of self mastery through covenant relationship with higher purpose.
The Shaman's Touch is aimed at people who have heard the call of their dream and answered it.
Into the Fire
Don't run away from grief, o soul.
Look for the remedy inside the pain.
Because the rose came from the thorn
and the ruby came from a stone. ∞ Rumi
When I answered the call of my dream, I hoped I would pass through some grand curtain of light and into nothing short of ecstatic joy and fulfillment. I hoped to attract only the most positive experiences. I didn’t understand about the refining fire of destiny. At that time, I had heard the mantra of the New Age that says you can learn by joy and pleasure.
I do not dispute it.
Sometimes the Fire bathes you in the ecstasy of your passion. Sometimes the shortest route to the accomplishment of your dream will lead you through more pleasure than you ever dared imagine.
But know this: The Fire of your Inner Shaman will get your attention any way it can. It is in direct communication with your dream. It knows the road ahead. It will make you ready. The Fire will, at times, call you to the place of trials offering what is needed rather than teasing your senses with fleeting pleasures.
Your prayer for fulfillment was attractive and transforming.
It is alive and interactive.
But why? Why isn't joy and pleasure enough?
Some things are deeply ingrained in our personalities and our life patterns. They cause us to make unconscious choices. When it is time to leave a pattern behind, when it is our desire to advance, our unconscious choices end in more and more painful versions of the pattern. The fire is, therefore, about liberation. The pain is there to alert us to the problem so we can get free of it.
Let’s face it. When you cried out to Heaven for the means to make your dream a reality, you were wearing the chains of a life that didn’t suit you. You were caught in habits and patterns that had taken you far away from your dream. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have needed to pray. You would have simply done what you wanted to do.
The Fire is about setting you free from the bondage of habit.
It is essentially friendly. The Fire invites you to leave behind notions of good and bad occurrences and to surrender to your trials. These trials will teach you to discriminate, to appreciate the essence of a thing. In the refining flames of the Fire you will learn the art of alchemy.
By way of example, I used to live with a severe disconnection between my sexuality and my heart. I had been wounded badly by a seduction when I was just 14. From that moment on, I was more comfortable with a one night stand than with risking a relationship. I had become aware of the problem and had been actively creating a loop of energy between my heart chakra and my sacral chakra.
One night, I was alone and crying in a bar.
Someone had hurt my feelings. An attractive young man swooped in to save the day. He said all the right things to make me feel safe and cared for. We spent an idyllic night making love. It was a truly memorable experience. I didn't go into it with any illusions about love or ongoing relationship. He made no promises. I made no requests. I expected it to play out like so many other similar nights. But when that man walked out the door the next morning, it felt like a piece of my soul went with him.
The pattern I had been trying so hard to break met the Fire of my Inner Shaman. I can't recall ever spending another similar night with any man after that. Were there relational missteps and misjudgments? Without a doubt! But the agony of that departure completed the loop between my heart and my sexuality. I never again tried to have "casual" sex with anyone. I had learned to appreciate the essence of anonymous encounters, and I had learned to appreciate the soul connection sex can create.
You see, when you live in bondage to habit, stimulus = response, and base metal is just scrap.
But once you learn discriminating awareness, you can break the causal link between stimulus and response. You begin to work skillfully with what is. From then on, any and everything that happens in your life forms the base ingredients of gold. You begin to consciously align with the personal responsibility you assumed when you made that initial covenant with your dream. First hand you discover the power of your intention when it is supercharged with awareness. In the example I gave, I had the intention to bring my heart into my sexuality. The night I described brought the essential awareness that catapulted my life into a whole different level of sexual relating.
In the Fire you also become equal to the task at hand.
The division between your everyday self and your Inner Shaman begins to disappear. The lessons of the Fire invite you to integration and mastery. As the bondage of habit burns off of you the door to real opportunity opens.
The Fire serves other purposes as well.
It moves you past the level of your thoughts and into your body and your emotions. It prompts you to rely on something other than reason. Reason alone will fail you in the Fire. Part of learning to discern is learning to be present to your senses.
Discernment is not, in the first instance, about seeing what is out there. It is about appreciating what is in here. It is about being present to yourself. Only when you are present with yourself can you truly sense the essence of something else.
The Fire also prompts you to bring your thoughts under control.
It calls upon you to interpret things differently. In the Fire, if you cannot learn to see that the road of trials is bringing you closer to your destiny, then the Fire may well consume you. In the scorching heat of the Fire doubt comes. You begin to wonder if maybe that prayer for the fulfillment of your dream was a mistake. You begin to doubt your ability. You are no longer even sure of what you heard when you heard your dream calling. Was it just the voice of sirens in the distance?
In these moments, if you don’t take hold of your thoughts, your thoughts can undo everything. They can lead you down rabbit trails and throw you so far off course that years are lost. Thriving in the Fire requires that you make your thoughts subject to your Inner Shaman. You must invest your faith in the power of your destiny and in the strength of your own intentions. If you invest your faith in disaster, disaster may come.
Faith has creative power no matter where you place it.
The Fire knows this!
It beckons you to take up your vision returning to it over and over again even in the midst of your trials.
The fire asks you to continually renew your belief that the manna will come in service of your destiny.
And when the manna ceases?
You can be sure the time of fulfillment is near!